The CBS broadcast captured some depressing vignettes following the game as players spilled back into the locker room, including quarterback Philip Rivers in an absolute wordless daze as he took a knee on the field. When coaches saw the tape afterward, they also caught Lambo effectively bouncing off the field, smiling and laughing as he trailed Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Lambo apologized and said he understood how laughing after a loss could be seen as "a bad look."
"I think it was a misinterpretation of what happened. Obviously I was as devastated as anybody about the loss," Lambo said, according to The Associated Press. "No one enjoys losing I certainly don't take it lightly."
Lambo added that he simply was laughing at something Janikowski said to him after the game.
"In the kicking world, he's a superstar. He's a rock star," Lambo said. "He's a guy I look up to, a guy I consider a growing friend. We had a word, we had a laugh. We're people. The work day was over and he said something funny and when Sebastian Janikowski says something funny to you, you laugh."
Coach Mike McCoy had this to say about his effervescent placekicker:
"Everybody on your team is looking at you and looking at everything you do at all times," McCoy said, via the San Diego Union Tribune. "When a teammate sees you in a situation like this and you get caught, laughing it up, people take it differently. Everybody is different. Some players will look at it and say, 'It's not a big deal.' Other players, it pisses you off. You were involved in a critical play in the game, and it wasn't executed properly, and we lost. Just understand what it means.
"I think he's handled it the right way, talking to his teammates, talking to different coaches on the staff, apologizing and what he's learned from it."
Getting caught laughing on the sidelines after or during a loss has long been the bane of an NFL player's existence. Oftentimes, they are just trying to cheer themselves up before what will be a tense locker room period with plenty of clipboard slams and locker punches. They see friends on the field whom they haven't spoken to in months.
While McCoy seemed to have a pretty even answer to this, would it be as big of an issue if the Chargers had two or three wins? Probably not. Would people care had the Chargers not lost their third consecutive game, bringing their margin of defeat in those contests to a grand total of eight points? I don't think so. Teams in a tailspin can often blanket themselves in the macabre, forgetting that football is supposed to be fun in the first place. Is what Lambo did any worse than players on a losing team seeking out opponents on the other side of the field to trade uniforms or, in some extreme cases, get autographs? (It happens.)
This will be a lesson for the young kicker, who is about a month away from his 26th birthday. It's his second season in the league. However, it would be hard to imagine him going anywhere. The kicking game is one of the few things going right for the Chargers this season -- Lambo is 9 of 10 on field goals and has missed just one extra point.